We’re big baseball fans here at JPG. Joe is a lifelong Phillies fan. To use his words, it was “pretty freaking awesome” to work with Ashley and David (that’s David Buchanan, formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies, and now the Tokyo Yakult Swallows) including their engagement shoot at Citizens Bank Park. From the ballpark to the reception at Center City’s epic reception venue, the Crystal Tea Room, Ashley and David made their day unforgettable. In fact, right from the start, it was clear that these two were far from anything cliché.
Their “first touch” set the tone. Rather than spoil the traditional first look as Ashley walked down the aisle with a first look, the couple decided to share a moment before the wedding in a different way. Joe and Stacey made sure to remove everyone else from the area to give them as much privacy as possible, and then just told them to be themselves and enjoy this privacy, a rare feeling of freedom for couples on the wedding day. David’s reaction to Ashley is what we always hope to document for all of our couples: He’s a tall, confident southern gentleman, always saying sir, and minding his manners. Seeing him show such raw emotion for Ashley added a powerful moment to their amazing day. It’s nice to see a groom bring his ideas of what’s creative and artistic to the process. Plus, we lucked out with perfect Philadelphia fall weather—crisp autumn leaves falling in Rittenhouse Square. It’s hard to ask for more from a portrait session in the city.
As far as the party at the Crystal Tea Room, it took no coaxing to get a group of young, professional baseball players to inspire action-packed shots. David, Ashley, and team members from the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs mentioned right away that they wanted to get rowdy for the champagne shot. A prompt—”Act like you just won the World Series!”—and the excitement started rolling. The rest of the night was full of dancing — especially lots of line dancing where David was happy to take the reins and lead everyone on the dance floor.
It was an incredible celebration. We couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more enthusiastic couple. Enjoy some of our favorite photos from Ashley and David’s big day below, and read more about their inspiring first touch at PhillyMag.com.
Congrats and wishes for a long and happy life together! Best, Joe G.